A VPN service is a great way to upgrade your home security, especially if you spend lots of time online, work from home, or have younger family members who enjoy gaming with their friends.
In essence, you can find a VPN for PC devices or packages that protect all your internet-enabled devices in the home, with the assurance that any data you transmit is protected.
Post-pandemic, choosing the best VPN 2022 becomes even more crucial, as millions of us need secure access to remote working systems and require a sure-fire solution to guarantee the confidentiality of our work.
Today, Best10Index runs through a checklist of what to watch out for in VPN reviews and select the best product, at the right price, for your cybersecurity needs.
Each VPN service is slightly different, although the premise remains the same - your location is safeguarded, and information you receive or send is safe from third-party intervention.
However, the location of your VPN servers can make quite a difference to the quality of the service on offer.
Some VPN providers will promote the number of servers they have, but where they are based is more important from a consumer perspective.
If you need a top-of-the-line VPN, you'll want a VPN provider with wide coverage in multiple countries. The more servers in more locations your VPN offers, the faster the speeds available, and the broader the range of content you'll get access to.
Global server networks are also a bonus if you have difficulties accessing blocked content. Some streaming sites blocklist IP addresses they know to be connected to a VPN server.
That's, of course, legitimate for streaming sites blocking users from trying to access content that isn't licensed in their countries! Still, it can be a huge issue for people who need a VPN for work purposes and may have forgotten to turn their VPN off when they settle down for movie night!
Larger VPN networks usually skip around this problem by introducing new servers continually and switching you over if you're having access problems.
While you can check VPN reviews for an idea about network speeds, the reality is that it's pretty difficult to know whether your VPN will put your devices on a go-slow without testing it.
A VPN works by channelling your traffic through private servers, so if you get it wrong, you might find your internet connection slows to an infuriating crawl.
Again, it's all about the number and capacity of servers, so if there are fewer users reliant on any server at the same time, your speeds should remain optimal.
The whole point of a VPN is to boost security, and encryption standards are crucial.
If a hacker or third party tries to intercept your traffic, encryption means the security breach can't be successful since they cannot decrypt the data.
VPNs usually use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) so keep an eye on what your short-listed VPNs offer - AES-256 is the best option, which is military-grade encryption.
A great VPN also has a tonne of added features, all of which combine to elevate your security level, so it's good to have:
Those tools mean that if there is a data leak or your VPN connection drops out, it will still protect your data and privacy.
The best VPN 2022 isn't going to be any good if you need a VPN for Android, and your chosen package is only designed as a VPN for PC use!
Before downloading any VPN or even getting to the price comparisons, you'll need to check which devices and operating systems it works with. The bigger VPNs tend to support all popular devices and platforms, but it's important to verify.
Many households go for a VPN because they have lots of different devices, all potentially in use simultaneously, so in that case, your VPN must support several connections at the same time.
Although a multi-device VPN might be slightly more expensive on the face of it, you'll find it's considerably cheaper than purchasing several VPN licences, one for each internet-connected device and operating system.
Streaming services commonly use geoblocks - this refers to the issue we mentioned earlier, where some movies, on-demand content or TV series are licensed to specific countries and can't be watched in other jurisdictions.
If you need a VPN and spend a lot of time watching digital entertainment, your ideal VPN must support streaming usage.
That means looking for:
Note that a VPN isn't a sneaky way to get past geoblocks but is a way to level up your home security online without making it difficult to watch your favourite shows or films.
Torrenting isn't necessarily illegal, but some countries block this activity to prevent any attempts at piracy relating to copyright digital content.
Some VPNs will not allow torrenting or P2P connections to keep the server load at a lower level because torrenting requires a fairly massive bandwidth. Therefore, a VPN with this restriction will be unsuitable
It's wise to be cautious about torrenting if restrictions in your country make this unlawful. Provided it's above board, a VPN that permits torrenting will let you go about your business without limiting bandwidth, restricting P2P connections, or reducing your speeds to a snail's pace.
We hope this checklist has given you food for thought in the factors that will help select the best VPN providers for you!
Pricing is only one of many elements, so once you've got a great idea about whether the VPN service, speed and security match your expectations, you can compare your short-list to see which provider offers the best value for money.